Change, agency, “voice and choice”

What do 11 to 14-year-olds really need? What pedagogical approaches engage & prepare students for a rapidly changing world?

These are the some of questions that we are engaging with as part of our professional learning inquiry into early adolescent learning. Like many schools around the world, we are grappling with how to best prepare our students whose futures will be transformed by the fourth revolution in ways that we cannot imagine. In a new job and new school context, I continue to think about ways to include students in conversations and decisions  that deeply impact their lives – “what really is student agency” and “do we, as educators and educational leaders, really want it?” How might we leverage agentic learning and genuine “voice and choice” in systems designed to promote compliance, standardisation and uniformity?

Will Richardson, writes how students “can inform our conversations and decisions about systems, environments, curricular choices, pedagogy, discipline, norms, staffing and more, yet in most schools, few if any of those conversations about the school lives that they must endure are made with any input from students.”

Templestowe College’s Flexible Learning Environment, the International School of Ho Chi Minh City’s Studio 5, and Western Academy of Beijing’s Flow 21, along with educators like Taryn Bond Clegg, Mel Taylor, and others sharing transformative practice at IB Educator Voices, are helping push boundaries and show us ways that learning and “school” might be different.

2 thoughts on “Change, agency, “voice and choice””

  1. I agree Cindy. How do we better involve our young adolescents in the decision making that will ultimately impact on their schooling and lives? Would love to follow the outcomes of your project.

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